OWNERS and management of hotels, restaurants, and eateries in Honiara are called upon to train their security guards to be sensitive to different groups of people especially Solomon Islands women and men who visit their establishments to meet or eat.
The call comes from the Women’s Rights Action Movement or WRAM which had been approached by women who felt that they had been treated differently by security guards when visiting some of these establishments, causing these women embarrassment and hurt.
One woman who was going to attend an organised meeting at one of these eateries reported that she was called aside at the gate by a male security guard and questioned where she was going and why.
When she told the guard that she was attending a meeting at the eatery, the guard continued to grill her with more questions, asking for the names of the people she was meeting and the organisation they represent.
The lady even had to show to the guards’ documents of proof to satisfy the guard that she really was attending a meeting at the eatery.
This action greatly hurt her feelings because two other non-Solomon Islanders who were walking after her were not accosted at all by the guard but freely walked through.
“I felt very hurt because this is the first time for me to be led aside for questioning.
“I dressed well because I was going to a meeting so I was really hurt by the way I was treated by the security guard,” the lady said.
In another hotel in Honiara, a similar conversation also took place between another male security guard and another lady.
Fortunately, this second lady is a national leader who after her meeting at the hotel, went and reported the incident to the hotel manager.
Hotels and other eateries in town are respectfully reminded by WRAM to ensure that their security guards and other first-point-of-contact staff to be mindful of their treatment to Solomon Islanders especially women who enter into their establishments.
Such treatment as shown by the two stories provided above is discrimination which obviously was targeting Solomon Islands women.
Discrimination is when people are treated unfavourably due to actual or perceived characters such as their appearance, ethnicity, gender, and economic standing.
These hotels and eateries are not above the law which prohibits discrimination, WRAM emphasised.
The government is also urged to protect its citizens especially the vulnerable such as women from discrimination.